What's the story?
AS Monaco midfielder and former Barcelona player Cesc Fabregas has opened up about Lionel Messi and his chances to win the Ballon d'Or this season.
In case you didn't know
Fabregas is one of Messi's closest friends and played along with Messi during his La Masia days and later in the Barcelona first team. The Spanish midfielder currently plays for AS Monaco in Ligue 1, where he transferred to from Chelsea.
Messi has had an incredible individual season -- winning the European Golden Shoe and Spain's Pichichi Trophy. He won La Liga with Barcelona as well. But he is facing tough competition as he lost out on both the Champions League and Copa del Rey this season.
Barcelona failed to capitalise on a three-goal lead from the first leg in the Champions League semi-final against Liverpool. They lost 4-0 in the second leg. In the Copa del Rey, they lost to Valencia in the final.
The opportunity to win a trophy with the national team is now available for Messi, but Argentina's Copa América started with a 0-2 loss to Colombia.
Heart of the matter
In an interview with Goal, Fabregas spoke about how Messi has evolved over the years.
"That's the thing with Leo, he reinvents himself season after season.
Maybe he is not the player who dribbles past three, four or five players and score an outstanding goal anymore.
Instead, now, he prefers to do 50-yard passes, leaving Jordi Alba one-versus-one with the goalkeeper.
He sees one-twos around the box, he might do a chip and an assist... I think now he is more complete than ever.”
But he thinks the Ballon d'Or will go to someone from Liverpool.
“I think Liverpool have had a fantastic season, though. Potentially one of their players could be on the podium, for sure.”Published 16 Jun 2019, 10:05 IST